J. B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. said today it has recorded its highest-ever third-quarter net earnings. The truckload carrier said its net earnings were $16.8 million, compared with 2001 third quarter earnings of $4.5 million.
Total operating revenue for the current quarter was $583 million, compared with $537 million during the third quarter of 2001. During the third quarter of 2002, revenue of the company's truck segment was up 2.4%, while its intermodal segment revenue rose 6.7% over the comparable period of 2001.
J.B. Hunt said its earnings improved significantly in the quarter as the operating leverage attributable primarily to the truck segment began to be understood to a greater degree. The truck operating ratio was 95.3% for the quarter, a 240 basis point improvement vs. the comparable period last year.
Due to the lockout of West Coast dock workers during the first part of October and the subsequent return to work on October 9th, a shortened time frame for moving imported merchandise into place will occur during the fourth quarter of 2002. The impact to the company has been minimal to date and the company is unable to predict what the ultimate impact, if any, will be during the fourth quarter.